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Massive VNU Layoffs Begin, Nielsen Spared

VNU on Friday began layoffs expected to reduce its workforce by some 4,100 jobs, or nearly 10 percent of its worldwide organization, throughout next year.

VNU, parent of various trade pubs, Nielsen Media Research and ACNielsen, among others, first made cuts among top editors of trade publications, including 10 editors at the Hollywood Reporter, writes MediaPost Editor Joe Mandese. The cuts come some months after VNU was acquired by private equity firms and a new CEO took the helm with a compensation package estimated at $100 million "if he delivers on certain corporate goals," according to the article.

Nielsen is "VNU's cash cow," writes Mandese. It is massively expanding products, services and capabilities, including its A2/M2 (Anytime/Anywhere) measurement initiative and new ratings systems for non-TV audience measurement.

Moreover, the revenues of Nielsen's businesses are reportedly growing at the highest rates among VNU properties (at 13.9 percent in the first three quarters, more than twice VNU's overall rate of revenue growth), and its margins are reportedly among the best in the research industry.


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